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V. Early Deliverables

  • Issued: September 10, 2014
  • Content last reviewed: September 2014
  • See also: Final Report

During the process of the review, the Chief Prevention Officer continues to take steps to enhance health, safety and prevention in the mining sector. Over the past few months, the Ministry of Labour has undertaken three key initiatives.

1. Guidance on High Visibility Apparel

Operators of heavy mobile equipment have restricted lines of sight. Four Coroners’ reports cited poor visibility of employees as a factor in fatalities. According to a number of academic studies, strategic placement of retro reflective material on work coveralls can significantly increase visibility.

In response to concerns expressed during the public consultations, Advisory Committee discussions of the hazards related to low-light and employee visibility in underground mining environments, and the scientific evidence, the ministry developed a business case to support the introduction of employee apparel with greater visibility features.

To help workplace parties increase the visibility of employees, the ministry has developed a best practice guideline on high visibility apparel, which will be released in late summer 2014. In addition, the Review will explore options for increasing the standards for required high visibility apparel.

2. Joint Health and Safety Committee Certification Part II

On May 7, 2014, the Ministry of Labour publicly released the 2014 Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) Certification Training Program and Provider Standards. Implementation focus groups have been established to develop sector-specific hazard lists and administrative frameworks to facilitate roll-out of the new Standards. Under the 2014 Standards, Part II training, which will include training on a minimum of six hazards, will be sector-specific and require approved training programs taken from approved training providers.

In support of the JHSC Part II, the advice and recommendations from the Review’s Hazard Working Group will be leveraged to help the training focus on key hazards in the mining sector. Strategies for enforcement and prevention activities, such as training and guidance information, will be developed for the hazards identified. In addition, the hazard or risk ranking will be used to select the hazards that should be on the list when implementing Part II certification training for joint health and safety committee members.

3. Mining Research

To support the Review, the Chief Prevention Officer initiated two projects to increase health and safety knowledge in the mining sector.

The first is the creation of an Ontario Mining Exposure Database. The Occupational Cancer Research Centre will develop this database, which will be used to: inform the development of mining sector prevention interventions; predict the future burden of disease among mining employees; and determine achievable safe levels of exposure for specific hazards.

The second project is on the impact of vibration. Laurentian University will evaluate the potential benefits of personal protective equipment in reducing foot-transmitted vibration for operators of underground mining equipment.

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